Palazzo Reale in Milan among top international sites.
The Royal Palace adjoining the cathedral in the centre of Milan has joined the ranks of the one hundred most visited cultural sites in the world, as a new entry in 2017 at 71st place.
Last year saw the number of visitors to the Palazzo Reale top the one-million mark.
The news was announced in Milan during the presentation of the annual report by Federculture, the Italian national association of operators in the field of culture, tourism, sport and free time.
The Palazzo Reale was the seat of government during the Middle Ages. During the late 15th century, with the French invasion and the end of the era of the Sforza dynasty of Dukes of Milan, the palace became the seat of the royal court. Under the Gonzaga family, who ruled the city from 1546, the palace was considerably enlarged.
Although ravaged four times by fire – the most recent time being on 15 August 1943 during a British bombing raid – the palace has always been restored to its ancient splendour.
Today it is an active cultural centre and hosts prestigious exhibitions in its over 7,000 square metres of space, with over 1,500 artworks exhibited annually. The palace also contains the museum of the neighbouring Duomo.
Other Italian sites particularly popular with visitors are the Caserta Reggia, or royal residence, the museum complex attached to the Siena cathedral, the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Castel S. Angelo in Rome and the royal residence at Turin’s Venaria, said the report.